Kate Bush Album Reviews
Kate Bush was discovered by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour as a teenager, and placed into a training scheme by her record label EMI, where she was taken out of school and studied dance, mime and music. Bush quickly blossomed into an outstanding performer; her 1978 debut album, The Kick Inside, released at the age of 19 during the height of punk, was improbably accomplished and successful. It launched the soaring ‘Wuthering Heights’, which despite inspiration from classic literature and clear traces of progressive rock, stayed at number one for a month, making Bush the first female to reach number one of the UK Charts with a self-written song.
Bush’s second album, Lionheart, was rushed out later in 1978, and remains her weakest effort. But with 1980’s Never For Ever she found her feet, and since then she’s slowly built up an outstanding and unique catalogue of exquisite albums. Her peak albums were 1982’s The Dreaming and 1985’s The Hounds of Love, where she compiled most of the music on a Fairlight Synthesizer. But even her 21st century albums have been strong, and she’s one of the few artists where I’d recommend hearing everything she’s done. After years of refusing to tour, Bush performed a series of sellout shows in London in 2014.
Bush’s songs are often romantic, sometimes expressing sensual thoughts about unlikely items like washing machines and snowmen. In a 1980 list she named albums by auteurs like Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Captain Beefheart, and Stevie Wonder among her favourites, and it makes sense, although their influences are filtered through her own unique experiences; growing up with Irish folk music, a classical pianist father, and new age philosophies.
I’ve covered all of Bush’s studio albums below, apart from 2011’s The Directors Cut, which reworks songs from 1989’s The Sensual World and 1993’s The Red Shoes.
Favourite Ten Kate Bush Songs
Moments of Pleasure
Love and Anger
Running Up That Hill
Night of the Swallow
Snowed In At Wheeler Street